TikTok on the Clock, Tesla’s Flop Era and How NASA Fixed a ’70s-Era Space Computer

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Hosted by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton

Produced by Davis Land, Rachel Cohn and Whitney Jones

Edited by Jen Poyant

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

Original music by Dan Powell, Marion Lozano and Rowan Niemisto

On Wednesday, President Biden signed a bill into law that would force the sale of TikTok or ban the app outright. We explain how this came together, when just a few weeks ago it seemed unlikely to happen, and what legal challenges the law will face next. Then we check on Tesla’s very bad year and what’s next for the company after this week’s awful quarterly earnings report. Finally, to boldly support tech where tech has never been supported before: Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab try to fix a chip malfunction from 15 billion miles away.


  • Andrew Hawkins, Transportation Editor at The Verge

  • Todd Barber, Propulsion Engineer at Jet Propulsion Lab

Additional Reading:

  • ‘Thunder Run’: Behind Lawmakers’ Secretive Push to Pass the TikTok Bill

  • Tesla’s in its flop era

  • NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to Earth

Credit…Photo Illustration by The New York Times; Photo: Valerii Evlakhov, via Getty Images


“Hard Fork” is hosted by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton and produced by Whitney Jones and Rachel Cohn. The show is edited by Jen Poyant. Engineering by Alyssa Moxley and original music by Dan Powell, Marion Lozano and Rowan Niemisto Fact-checking by Caitlin Love.

Special thanks to Paula Szuchman, Pui-Wing Tam, Nell Gallogly, Kate LoPresti and Jeffrey Miranda.

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